Future2 2023 Make the Difference! Grants

In October 2023, Future2 awarded $148,500 in grants to grassroots, community programs, supporting Australians experiencing social, physical or financial hardship.

Athenie’s Angels Aus Ltd
St. Kilda, VIC

Nominated by: Suzanne McMaster 

Program name: Resiliency Building Program 

 Athenie’s Angels Aus. Ltd, (AAAL) is a registered health promotion charity based in Victoria. AAAL is committed to improving the lives of individuals who are impacted by mental health challenges. They provide accessible and high-quality mental health services, tools, and resources to support individuals as they navigate through their journey towards better mental health. Their mission is to increase awareness and understanding of mental health issues, reduce stigma, and promote positive mental health and well-being. 

The program brings young people together to work with professionals to teach them skills on how to cope with mental stress, how to survive mental challenges and emotional rollercoasters bought on by social media, family, work, career, relationships, hormones, and life itself. So many variables provide ample opportunity to make it difficult to navigate this fast-paced world we live in. Being able to support themselves and others during that time of need with tools learned during our program. This is the key to avoiding more suicide amongst young people. 

During the program they will discuss how the body manifests and deals with emotions, how diet and exercise affect their mood, sleep patterns and habits. The desired outcome is to provide young people the knowledge, skills, and the support necessary to navigate challenges, adapt to change, and thrive in the face of adversity. 


“Mental Health is still often misunderstood and many people, especially the young, do not have the knowledge or tools to help themselves when faced with a mental illness.  The Athenie’s Angels Resiliency Program aims to provide participants with these skills, guided by health professionals.  With Future2’s generous support Athenie’s Angels can start this important work of helping and supporting these young Australians.”

Suzanne McMaster, Nominator


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Point Leo Surf Life Saving Club  
Point Leo, VIC

 Nominated by: Suzannah Gilardi 

 Program name: Point Leo Surf Life Saving Club – Community Disabled Surfing 

Point Leo Surf Life Saving Club supports Disabled Surfing Victoria (activity days) held at the Point Leo beach. The Surf Life Saving Club’s volunteers assist Disability Surfing Victoria with both Water Safety and carers to ensure that all participants have a fun and safe day at the beach.

Access to the beach has always been limited by the sand and a lack of hard surfaces around the club. There are no outdoor beach showers that the participants, their carers & club members can use that are able to be accessed by people with a disability. We are grateful to Future2 as with the funding, we will be able to undertake the following: 

– Clear and restore the main access ramp to enable participants to access the beach from the carpark 

– Install some hardstand zones around the club so participants have areas to congregate safely 

– Install some external beach showers at the current Surf club and disabled ramps so that participants and their carers can shower post-surf

The surf days are amazing, and it highlights the importance of the community surf club, not only to save lives of those in the water, but also to actively assist the wider community as part of our overall inclusion policies.


“The Future 2 Make a Difference Grant was promoted by my local chapter of the Financial Advice Association Australia – Victoria South East Chapter, as an opportunity to gain support for a local community group. As a strong supporter and member of the life saving community, I heard about this initiative and felt the funding would be invaluable for the Point Leo Surf Club, so they can provide an even more inclusive beach experience for all members of the community.”

Suzannah Gilardi, Nominator 


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Happy Home Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Group Melbourne, VIC

Nominated by: Xiao Jie (Sarah) Wang 

Program name: Community Refugee and Settlement 

Happy Home is a volunteer group established to assist a refugee family to settle in Melbourne. 

They provide wrap-around support from the moment the family lands at the airport and throughout the first 12 months of their life in Australia. This includes securing housing; providing initial income support; guidance accessing public services, education and employment; support with social integration, and above all – the safety they need. 

Refugees come from war zones, refugee camps and other transitional places. The family’s transition into Australia will be facilitated through practical, emotional and social support, and in the longer term, they will benefit from access to opportunities and Australian society. 

Humanitarian migration benefits Australia – economically, socially and culturally. Research shows that refugees are the most entrepreneurial migrants.


“I heard about Future2 through the FAAA. I was particularly interested in Future2’s goal of helping disadvantaged Australians to improve financial literacy, as this is my area of expertise.”

Xiao Jie (Sarah) Wang, Nominator


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Byron Youth Service Inc.
Byron Bay, NSW

Nominated by: Shane Hayes

Program name: The Byron Barbershop Program

Byron Youth Service Inc. (BYS) have been the primary provider of youth services in the Byron Shire since 1987. Their primary purpose is to develop and deliver activities that are responsive to the needs of young people aged 12-24 and their families.

In 2023 BYS piloted the Barbershop Program. A small group of young men (who were at-risk of dropping out of high school) were supported to design and build a barbershop at the Byron Youth Activities Centre. The pilot was extremely successful with 5 young men being supported to reconnect to educational pathways, gain trade skills and receive mentoring from positive male role models.

The 2024 Barbershop Program will support 20 young men who are at-risk of getting into trouble with the police &/or going to juvenile detention to turn their lives around. The program will teach them financial literacy, life skills, communication skills, self-care and respect.


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Youth Accountability Project
Moree, Mt Druitt, La Perouse, Newcastle, Sydney, NSW

Nominated by: Larry Fingleson

Program name: Youth Accountability Project

The Youth Accountability Project (YAP) is a pioneering systems change initiative. They exist to challenge the harm that systems inflict on successive generations of young people.

YAP empowers young people (7+), particularly those most harmed, structurally unheard and/or neglected by existing systems, to lead engagement, design and systemic reform work in communities, organisations and across sectors to co-create youth-led accountability mechanisms that hold systems to account for their role in young people’s lives.

This grant will enable YAP’s Impact Board (young people from all across NSW) to redefine and drive accountability to young people by leading conversations in their communities.


“I have had close engagement with the Youth Accountability Project (YAP) since its inception. I wholeheartedly nominate YAP for this grant, because of the impact YAP’s innovative approach will have on young people and because YAP closely aligns with Future2’s mission to provide a second chance for a better future, particularly in education, engagement, and wellbeing.”

Larry Fingleson, Nominator


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Slow Food Hunter Valley
Maitland, NSW

Nominated by: Matt Kerr

Program name: Food Rescue Kitchen

Slow Food Hunter Valley is an equity project dedicated to those in need in the community. They rescue good food that is destined for landfill – received from Oz Harvest, local small producers and local urban gardeners- and make nutritious, delicious meals for distribution in the Maitland area.

A team of volunteers sort and collate the food, design the menu for the week, wash, chop, cook, cook, cook and pack the meals. At least 4 volunteers work in the kitchen every day, 5 days a week.  These volunteers are supported by a band of Slow Food volunteers who look after fundraising, compliance, banking, shopping, training, finding volunteers, communication and social media support.

With the Future2 grant, Slow Food Hunter Valley will be giving new life to a well-loved facility at the Maitland Showground, the Teapot Café.  The kitchen will have a major renovation including a new sink area, the installation of a preloved dishwasher and a new industrial oven and improved ventilation. This upgrade will have the wonderful volunteers zinging around the kitchen as they work their magic on this food waste, fighting hunger in our area.


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Youth Leaders Mentor Program
South Brisbane, QLD

Nominated by: Peter Marsh

Program name: Youth Leaders Mentor Program – training, developing and extending young mentors

Youth Leaders are young people aged 18-25 whose veteran parent(s) lost their lives due to military service. The successful Youth Leader program nurtures wellbeing, builds confidence, and develops interpersonal and life skills to assist in the transition to adulthood.

The Future2 Foundation grant will enable the development of a new program for Youth Leaders to develop child mentoring skills around therapeutic crisis intervention, over 18 months.

In 2024, the new training program will be implemented to support their ability to mentor younger children safely and effectively. The program will develop and deepen critical skills, enabling success, building confidence, and ultimately help to open up their future prospects.


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Lovewell Foundation
Mt Gravatt East, QLD

Nominated by: Alan Baker

Program name: Better Futures

Lovewell Foundation believes in the incredible potential of every woman regardless of their past circumstances.

The Better Futures program is a beacon of hope for women from diverse backgrounds, all of whom have faced unique challenges such as domestic violence, addiction, trafficking, homelessness, mental health issues, unemployment, childhood trauma, poverty, and disability.

Their mission is to empower these resilient women and provide them with the support, encouragement, and resources they need to rebuild their lives.

Through the Better Futures Program, they are helping women rediscover their self-worth, rebuild their confidence, and courageously voice their dreams and aspirations. They work with them on a journey of transformation, where they can discover their true potential and find their place in the world through training and employment opportunities.

In 2024, thanks to the Future2 grant, Lovewell Foundation are excited to be able to extend their reach and assist another 50-60 remarkable women in embarking on their journey towards Better Futures.

Working with Future2, Lovewell Foundation walks with women as they realise their potential and celebrate as they develop a Better Future for themselves and their children.

“As a member of the Financial Advice Association of Australia, I am pleased that my professional association supports good causes in the community through the Future2 Foundation.

I nominated Lovewell Foundation this year, because they do such a great job in reaching out to disadvantaged and disempowered women and girls and helping them to rebuild their lives, through skills training, mentoring, work experience and other vital support. This is such a worthy cause that I am thrilled that Future2 awarded Lovewell  a $10,000 grant this year.”

Alan Baker, Nominator


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Financial Superwomen

Nominated by: Nicola Beswick

Program name: Financial Superwomen Online Access

The Financial Superwomen Online Workshop will be created in early 2024 and made available to Domestic and Family Violence survivors via a secure online platform.

The platform will host live and recorded webinars to cover topics related (but not limited) to Money and Finance such as Banking, Money Mastery, Navigating Financial Hardship, Renting a Home, Buying a Home, Tax and Business, Legal Matters, Securing a Job, Insurance Matters, Business Coaching, Mindset Coaching, Financial Planner & Justice of the Peace.

The audience will be able to ask questions of our experts in an anonymous manner & the sessions will be recorded for future viewing.

The goal of Financial Superwomen is to educate and empower female survivors to be financially secure and stable. The target audience is initially females however this can be opened up to male survivors as well as members of the LGBTQI community.

The impact of the Financial Superwomen program extends beyond its immediate participants, it flows out to their family members and their wider community, creating positive and lasting change.


“I have nominated Financial Superwomen for the Future2 Grant as I truly believe that a cornerstone foundation of rebuilding a happy, healthy life is financial security. Financial Superwomen understands that supporting women to empower themselves financially is an essential part of moving forward from abuse into the future.”

Nicola Beswick, Nominator


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Nominated by: Tim Turner

Program name: Return To Work Website Resource

This grant will fund a Return to Work resource that will be added to the existing Yourtoolkit.com site. Research has found that a satisfying job is a critical factor towards recovery and well-being after FDV and the beginning of reconstructing identity. Employment also provides financial independence and the opportunity for a future away from the abuser.

Recovery for victim-survivors is hard for a range of complex reasons, including the fear that the consequences of leaving will be worse than the consequences of staying, and the complexity of navigating the legal, financial and social services system. 46% of women facing abuse from a current partner never reach out for support and remain isolated behind closed doors.

Research has found that the lack of economic security and financial resources are the primary reason women return to an abusive relationship and without work, victim-survivors can be trapped in a cycle of financial dependence and violence.

The Return to Work resource will address topics including:

How to write a CV and job application Preparing for interviews What to wear Where to get support

“I first started supporting Yourtoolkit.com by volunteering to copy check the insurance content of their online resource. We nominated with the specific purpose of supporting a new Return to Work resource that was unlikely to start without additional support and I was delighted that we were successful to secure the funding to make this happen.”

Tim Turner, Nominator


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Claremont, WA

Nominated by: Peter Farlie

Program name: ACES Resources Hub

The ACES Resources Hub is an online platform of information and resources for evidence-based intervention for students with learning difficulties. The Hub will provide access to a wide range of global resources directly mapped to essential learning for Australian students, including effective strategies, techniques, lessons, and easy to implement learning adjustments for students with gaps in their understanding of curriculum content.

The ACES Resources Hub will mean that access to effective support will no longer be based on financial circumstances. It will serve as a vital tool for parents, caregivers, and professionals who are seeking easy to access information and resources to support children with learning difficulties. The project will have a significant impact on the lives of children and families by providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to address learning gaps and support positive outcomes.


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The Spiers Centre
Heathridge, WA

Nominated by: Grace Mugabe

Program name: Empower Youth: Transforming Futures Program

The Spiers Centre’s mission is to empower young people aged 12-25 facing social or financial disadvantages, offering free workshops on financial literacy, dealing with debt and financial products, resume writing, and caring for their mental health.

They provide holistic support, connecting participants with various agencies and offering individual sessions with financial counsellors and financial capability caseworkers. Peer-to-peer support and mentorship opportunities build social connections and confidence.

All of their services are free, breaking down barriers to knowledge and support. They aim to transform young lives by providing essential tools and resources, including financial literacy, to help them overcome challenges and achieve their goals.


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HPA Incorporated
Darwin, NT

Nominated by: Brendan Atkins

Program name: Student Training and Employment Program (STEP)

One of the main barriers for students between the ages of 12-25 with disability in Darwin is their location and having access to the same opportunities as their peers in larger cities such as Melbourne or Sydney. Supporting STEP will ensure that all the stakeholders come together in a respectful way to ensure longevity and sustainability.

Other barriers for this cohort include the possibility of never having the opportunity to have a job previously. Integral part of STEP is the 4-week pre-employment workshop to include workplace WHS, roles and responsibilities, personal responsibilities in the workplace and understanding what “A Job” means.

HPA will reach out to community stakeholders to work collaboratively in offering the free program of STEP to the identified cohort. Over a 12-month period HPA will run 5 STEP programs with a maximum number of 8 participants per program. This will deliver STEP to 40 participants.


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Integra Service Dogs
Canberra, ACT

Program name: A Counting Edge

Veterans and first responders are repeatedly exposed to or experience traumatic incidents or events which may lead to their development of PTSD with symptoms including severe anxiety, low mood or depression, reactivity, irritability, and agitation and disturbed sleep and night terrors.

Integra service dogs are trained to perform tasks to help their veteran handler by performing tasks to help alleviate the symptoms. This allows the handler to have a better family connection and to take part in the community.

The Future2 grant will assist Integra to provide another service dog to an individual with PTSD and this dog will give the person more freedom and independence so that they can take their place in the community.


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Backpacks 4 SA Kids
Adelaide, SA

Nominated by: Gavin Woolford

Program name: Home Starter Packs

Backpacks 4 SA Kids commenced in 2012 with the objective to support children facing displacement from their home with the provision of a Backpack of essential items, such as pyjamas, toiletries, toys and basic clothing.

$10,000 will provide 25 Home Starter Packs, costed at $400 each. These packs are distributed to agencies to provide primarily to mums with children who have escaped a violent home relationship.


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